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Camping with your dog: Answer the call of the wild safely

by Kira Garrett | August 14, 2014

Next time you head out on an outdoor overnight adventure, bring along your furry friend. Camping with your dog can be a great experience for the both of you—you’ll enjoy his companionship and he’ll enjoy exploring the great outdoors. Here are some things to keep in mind to help make sure your camping trip goes off without a hitch.

Don’t force an indoor dog outdoors

Some people prefer a four-star hotel to sleeping on the ground floor of a tent and dogs are the same way. While one pooch might love nothing more than the freedom of an open trail and a camping weekend, other dogs prefer a comfortable night inside their air-conditioned home. While you want man’s best friend by your side all the time, it may be in your pet’s best interest to leave him behind. You know your pup’s personality best and can decide whether or not your dog would enjoy a camping trip with you.

Gear up

Once you’ve decided your pet will enjoy a night under the stars, gather the necessary items to make your trip a breeze. ID tags are an essential (even if your pooch is microchipped). It’ a good idea to bring a back-up collar in case your dog’s breaks and multiple leash options. You’ll want a leash suitable for trails, and another longer tether that will come in handy when hanging around the campsite. Make sure he’s got food and water dishes. Pack a dehydrated raw dog food, like Sojos for your trip. It’s lightweight for travel and easily rehydrates into a complete meal for your pup.

Camping typically means plenty of down-time to ponder your thoughts. And while you may enjoy this tranquility, your pooch could get bored. Bring entertainment—like toys and bones to ensure your pup isn’t getting into mischief while you’re sitting around the campfire.

Watch out for wildlife

Depending on where you set up camp, you may encounter wildlife from mountain lions and bears to rattle snakes or coyotes. Be mindful of your surroundings and never let your pooch out of site. It can be tempting to allow your dog to run free, especially in remote areas, but he can get into all kinds of trouble. You don’t want to cut your trip short because a skunk sprayed your dog and a porcupine attack is extremely painful. Check regularly for wood ticks as well, as your pup is likely exposed to them on a camping trip.

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